Using your hearing device
All hearing devices have the same three basic components:
- microphone - picks up the sound and allows it to be converted to an electrical signal
- amplifier - increases the size of the electrical signal
- earphone - converts the increased electrical signal back into sound.
When are first fitted with a hearing device, it will take time to adjust to the new sounds you hear. For the first few days, it is best to get used to wearing your hearing device in a quiet, familiar environment. Gradually wear it for longer periods and listen to the various sounds around you.
Practise using your hearing device controls. If your hearing device has more than one listening program, make sure you try the alternative programs in a wide range of situations.
Tips for better hearing in difficult listening situations
Hearing in noisy situations
- If your hearing device has a directional microphone program try using it in noisy places. You will hear better when the noise is beside or behind you.
- Where possible sit with your back to the source of the noise and face the person you are talking to.
- If your hearing device has more than one noise control program, try each of these and use the one which delivers the most comfortable signal. You may need to use the volume control (if fitted) to keep speech at a comfortable loudness.
Hearing on the telephone
- With behind-the-ear hearing devices, hold the telephone higher than usual so it is near the microphone. With in-the-ear hearing devices, hold the telephone in the usual position but slightly away from your ear.
- Do not rest the telephone on the hearing device.
Using telecoil with the telephone
- If voices are still too soft or background noise is a problem, a telecoil and loop may help.
- Ask for a quiet spot when you make the reservation.
- Sit where the lighting is good so you can see people's faces when they're talking.
- Try to sit with the major noise sources behind you.
In the car
- Keep the windows closed to minimise outside noise.
- Consider reducing the volume of the device closer to the window if you have two hearing devices.
- Leave the radio/stereo system off.
At meetings or lectures
- If your hearing is similar in both ears, sit in the middle and towards the front of the room.
- If you hear better with one ear than the other, sit with your better ear towards the source of the sound.
- Ask if a loop, infrared or FM System is available.
Tips for family and friends
- Speak clearly and distinctly. You may need to slow down a little - not too much - and don't shout.
- If you're having difficulty being understood, rephrase your statement rather than repeat it.
- Talk face-to-face and ensure there is good light on your face - eyes and ears work best together for understanding speech.
- Avoid eating, drinking, smoking or touching your face while you talk.
- Minimise background noise.
- Be patient and understanding.